Talk me out of an iMac

mc_deli

n trepreneur
Current machine is a 2014 MBP 16GB 2.2.

Mac for Logic and far too many Kontakt libs and e.g. Diva.

I have 2k to spend. And existing peripherals: TB2 dock, 2x 28" 4k display port monitors, 3x 1TB 850EVOs in USB cases. Lots of other USB toys.

Looking at the iMac 5k 3.0 i5 8GB 512 SSD. To add 64GB OWC RAM.

I like the idea of all that RAM (oh lord yes), having up to 3 monitors, +60% multicore/+40% single core score over what I have now, ships with Mojave... and maybe performance legato patches would be usable! ...oh and far less fan noise than the MBP.

Concerns are the one TB bus, can't find info on the USB busses (are there more than one?), cost of extras like display adapters (and lust for BM multidock!)...

Any thoughts, what am I missing?
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Current machine is a 2014 MBP 16GB 2.2.

Mac for Logic and far too many Kontakt libs and e.g. Diva.

I have 2k to spend. And existing peripherals: TB2 dock, 2x 28" 4k display port monitors, 3x 1TB 850EVOs in USB cases. Lots of other USB toys.

Looking at the iMac 5k 3.0 i5 8GB 512 SSD. To add 64GB OWC RAM.

I like the idea of all that RAM (oh lord yes), having up to 3 monitors, +60% multicore/+40% single core score over what I have now, ships with Mojave... and maybe performance legato patches would be usable! ...oh and far less fan noise than the MBP.

Concerns are the one TB bus, can't find info on the USB busses (are there more than one?), cost of extras like display adapters (and lust for BM multidock!)...

Any thoughts, what am I missing?
I haven't looked at the iMacs in awhile, but make sure this version has user upgradeable RAM. I also wonder about the i5. My late 2015 4.0GHZ i7 (4 core) occasionally stumbles when I have lots of effects or synths.
 

mikefrommontreal

Active Member
I use a 2017 i5. Tons of plugins/soft synths. No issues. I run them off an external SSD which makes a work of difference. And I'm not exactly on top of resources. I don't purge samples or anything, and am happy with the performance.
 
OP
mc_deli

mc_deli

n trepreneur
I would avoid the i5. I'd seriously look at a new i7 6-core Mac mini, and upgrade the Ram yourself. With addition of a Cal-Digit Thunderbolt Station (for example), you could easily connect all your peripherals.
Very interesting. The i7 mini scores better in the Geekbench tests, has enough ports for me... the RAM is not quite as easy to upgrade as the iMac... one small issue... Apple are currently updating the Mac Mini "buy" page... I wonder what will appear?
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
Very interesting. The i7 mini scores better in the Geekbench tests, has enough ports for me... the RAM is not quite as easy to upgrade as the iMac... one small issue... Apple are currently updating the Mac Mini "buy" page... I wonder what will appear?
Interesting! It would be really cool if they introduced an i9 option. I was thinking of upgrading to a new Mini soon myself.
 
OP
mc_deli

mc_deli

n trepreneur
...what's missing with the Mini... only up to 64GB RAM and the weaker graphics card.
...and 25% cheaper with a 1TB SSD, than the i5 iMac with 512... Hmm
 

nolotrippen

New Member
...what's missing with the Mini... only up to 64GB RAM and the weaker graphics card.
...and 25% cheaper with a 1TB SSD, than the i5 iMac with 512... Hmm
I've got 40 in mine and it just never chokes. The only game I play is L4D2 and its like butter.
 

Wunderhorn

Active Member
Depends all on how demanding your projects are.
If you need lots of horsepower and RAM you'd be better off with a PC unless you can afford a Mac Pro. That's the bottom line that I came to.
The limitations on an iMac are just too much of a recipe for frustration plus, this all-in-one thing is going to age fast.
 
OP
mc_deli

mc_deli

n trepreneur
Depends all on how demanding your projects are.
If you need lots of horsepower and RAM you'd be better off with a PC unless you can afford a Mac Pro. That's the bottom line that I came to.
The limitations on an iMac are just too much of a recipe for frustration plus, this all-in-one thing is going to age fast.
Can't afford iMac Pro, must be a Mac.

What limitations?
 

Wunderhorn

Active Member
Can't afford iMac Pro, must be a Mac.

What limitations?
I was not talking about an iMac Pro, I was talking about a Mac Pro.
If I were you I'd get a PC in this case and I am saying this after having been a Mac user for over 25 years. As I said the iMacs are too limited. They can't be upgraded or serviced properly, you are stuck with a built in monitor and the hardware is overpriced. And since you can't upgrade the thing it will age quickly and have you yearning for a new machine much sooner than you might want to. Therefore to me, it is not very economical.
If you are looking to get the most bang for you buck on a certain budget a PC will give you more. In that world you can even get a silent machine without fans and moving parts.
But hey, again, it all depends on what your projects are going to look like. Maybe you'll be happy with an iMac for a while...
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
I was not talking about an iMac Pro, I was talking about a Mac Pro.
If I were you I'd get a PC in this case
Counterpoint: this is all silly. :)

For one, I'm going to guess that if you were him then a Windows machine would be a nonstarter.

But the main thing is what I post all the time: I'm using a 10-year-old... okay, it is a Mac Pro, but it's ten years old, almost certainly not as powerful as the iMac in question. I simply can't max it out with the libraries I have, no matter how hard I try.

So when someone says "only 64GB," I just don't get it. If I load everything I can think of I still have 20GB left.

And now with Logic only loading what you need, I'd be fine with 32GB.

As to horsepower, what do you need to run? I tried a stack of Omnispheres and couldn't get the processors to spike.
 
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Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
To me the question is whether the iMac design is right for you.

It's a great design, and it's perfect for my wife, who uses it for normal computer activities. But it wouldn't be perfect for me, because I keep my computers on the other side of a wall (my garage/machine room), and I don't need or want another monitor.

I believe it was Synthetic who said they should put the iMac Pro in a box without the monitor.
 

Wunderhorn

Active Member
Counterpoint: this is all silly. :)
In order to state your preference/opinion there is no need to make the opinions of others wrong.
The mere fact that you are using an older Mac Pro yourself is already proving my point to some extent. If you had an iMac of a similar age (or even somewhat newer) you'd most likely be in trouble by now.
So, maybe an iMac might be right for the OP but maybe not. Not everyone here is a minimalist - I am not, nor do I enjoy the constant struggle of balancing out performance resources. In the projected price category there is more power and flexibility to be had when choosing PC hardware and (and yes, in case of the OS I would prefer MacOS). But on a certain budget you have to decide - convenience with tighter confinements or more flexibility/upgrade-ability with a perhaps not so favorable but nonetheless popular OS.
Now, again, in the end it depends what you want to do with the machine, and those are all just considerations that might help making a right decision.
Personally, I think that financially speaking an iMac is burning the money away too fast.
And yes, putting an iMac Pro into a Box, removing the integrated monitor, giving you access to RAM, adding a few PCIe slots etc. would be great. A Mac Pro "lite" - I agree - would be an attractive product for a lot of creatives.